Bulacan police detain 19 after violent NutriAsia dispersal

Striking workers and security personnel of condiments company NutriAsia are pointing fingers on who started the violence

Rappler.com

1:10:5am August 1, 2018

1:10:5am August 1, 2018

BULACAN, Philippines – Security personnel again violently disperse striking workers of condiments giant NutriAsia in Marilao, Bulacan.

Both camps are pointing fingers on who started the violence, which ended with several people injured and 19 detained at the Meycauayan Police Station. (LOOK: Why NutriAsia workers are on strike)

Aika Rey files this report.

DETAINED. University of the Philippines Diliman student Jon Bonifacio talks to their lawyer on July 31, 2018 at the Meycauayan Police Station. Photo by Naokira Mengua/Rappler

DETAINED. University of the Philippines Diliman student Jon Bonifacio talks to their lawyer on July 31, 2018 at the Meycauayan Police Station. Photo by Naokira Mengua/Rappler

AIKA REY, REPORTING: Isang araw mula nang puwersahang pinaalis ang mga nagwewelgang manggagawa ng NutriAsia, may 19 na katao ang nakakulong sa Meycauayan Police Station.

A day after the violent dispersal of NutriAsia workers who are on strike, 19 people are still detained at the Meycauayan Police Station.

Ayon kay Superintendent Santos Mera, nanguna raw ang mga manggagawa na manggulo, matapos ang ecumenical na misa nitong Lunes. Nagsimula raw ito nang biglang may magpaputok ng baril.

Superintendent Santos Mera says the workers triggered the violence after an ecumenical mass Monday. It all started when somebody fired a gun.

Ngunit pinabulaanan ito ng mga manggagawa at mga taga-simbahan na nasama sa gulo. Sabi pa nila, hindi raw nila kakilala ang sinasabing may baril.

But the workers and people from the church refute the claims. They also say they don't know the man who had a gun.

REVEREND MARVIN DE LEON, UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Ang nakita natin na sila 'yung talaga papalapit at talagang mukhang berdugo na uhaw na uhaw sa dugo. At pinagpapapalo at saksi natin na maraming nasaktan sa pagkakataon na 'yun. Namamagitan tayo at umulan na ng bato. Hindi natin alam saan nanggagaling, pero may unang nanggaling dito sa part ng mga guwardiya. Ayon sa mga manggagawa ng NutriAsia, 'yun ay hindi mga original na guwardiya kundi talagang goons.

We saw the guards approaching and they really looked like executioners thirsty for blood. They hit us and we witnessed how a lot of people were injured. We tried to mediate but stones were thrown at us. We couldn't tell where it was coming from but the first ones came from the guards' area. According to the workers of NutriAsia, they are not the original guards but hired goons.

AIKA REY, REPORTING: Sa mga hinuli, 6 ang manggagawa ng NutriAsia, 8 ang tagasuporta, at may 5 taga-midya. Sa bilang na ito, 4 ang mga estudyante.

Of the detained, 6 are workers of NutriAsia, 8 are supporters, and 5 are from the media. Of the media and supporters, 4 are students.

Kamakailan, inutusan ng DOLE na gawing regular ng NutriAsia ang 80 manggagawa mula sa contractor na AsiaPro. Maliit na bilang daw ito, kumpara sa mga 800 manggagawang nagsasabing dapat maregular din sila.

Recently, DOLE ordered NutriAsia to regularize 80 employees from its contractor AsiaPro. But this is a small figure, the workers said, compared to the 800 employees demanding regularization.

Sa kasalukuyan, patuloy pa rin ang pag-uusap ng DOLE at ng NutriAsia.

Talks between DOLE and NutriAsia are still ongoing.

Aika Rey, Rappler, Bulacan. – Rappler.com